Networking a Win98 and a WinXP

Originally asked about here.

The Win98 computer, after being fussed with and trying many different things on, now does not see any computers on the network, and is not seen by any other computers. I have tried everything I can think of, and a few things some other people thought of, and am completely at a loss as to what is going on. File sharing is turned on for both of them, and both computers are using TCP/IP. Is there any way I can make it work?

Maybe you need to set the workgroup name. (Look in the Networking applet in the control panel).

Best case scenario they’ll never work great together. XP (that is, NT) doesn’t get along well with Win98 across a network. Not saying to give up, but if you can upgrade the 98 one to Windows 2000 (or XP) you’ll be a lot beter off.

Check the workgroup like Imasquare mentioned.

I’ve found some Win98 networking can get screwed from time to time. The easist way i’ve found to fix it is remove all the network protocols, then the NIC drivers. Reboot and reinstall everything from scratch. NIC first, then protocols.

I connected XP and win98 in about 20 minutes work the other night. All I had to do was set the Workgroup name on 98 the same as it was on XP, reboot, allow sharing on the XP disk, actually share a directory, and allow share users to make changes to the share.

So what would the worst case scenario be, then?

You don’t say what you have tried, so…

[li]Can the machines ping each other? If not, what are their IPs and netmasks, and how are the IP addresses allocated?[/li][li]Are the network names the same? (See here)[/li][li]What happens if you type “\MachineA.IP.Addr.xx” in Windows explorer of MachineB?[/li][li]Are the names of any machines or share very long? (98 has stricter requirements on length and characters in such names)[/li][li]Do you have any firewall products (including XPs firewall) running on any machines? Does it work with them off?[/li][li]I infer other machines on the network work fine - what OS are they running/ how do they differ?[/li][li]Is this 98 SE, or the other kind?[/li][/ul]

Make sure that the NETBEUI protocol is installed on the Win98 machine and that NETBIOS (which is slightly different, but can be thought of as the same thing, in the limited context of this question) is installed on the XP box. It’s supposed to be the case that you don’t actually need these for peer networking of Windows machines, but in practice, they are pretty essential.

About 90% of the ‘can’t see other computers’ networking problems I’ve dealt with on Win98 machines were NETBEUI-related.

I’ve got a Win98 machine networked with a WinXP machine, no problems at all.

I followed the info at this site:

It’s really good - takes you through step-by-step - and when I followed it I was up-and-running in less than 20 mins.

One more tip which I used when I helped my dad do this: create an admin account on the WinXP box (u/p: Mooncat/temppass, for example) and then create the same account on the Win98 box. Ensure that each is on the same workgroup (I changed both to TRANSFER for this purpose). Reboot both machines, then log in to both machines with the same username and password.

The WinXP account should now be able to see all of the files that Mooncat owns, regardless of which computer they’re on. I don’t know why this works, but I know it works!

For security reasons, delete the new accounts on each machine when you’re done with them.

Oh really? They work fine together on my network. I have a win98 box that I use for games and some older apps that won’t run under NT. I routinely connect it to my XP box which has an external HD attached that I use for backing up data.

Also, be careful recommending 2000 or XP as an upgrade to 98. Generally speaking 2000 and XP are better operating system, but there’s an awful lot of software that works on 98 and doesn’t work on 2000 or XP.

Any time I’ve had difficulty it’s been because the 98 and XP box weren’t in the same workgroup. Also, my XP box doesn’t play nice with anyone else on the network (doesn’t matter if it’s 98 or 2000) if the firewall is turned on.

My setup:
All computers are on a local network with hard coded TPC/IP addresses (this will work fine with DHCP too though). I do not have NETBUI or any other protocols installed, just TCP/IP. All machines have to have Cient for Microsoft Networks and Microsoft File and Print Sharing turned on (under network properties in control panel).

Netbeui (while sometimes nice as a low-maintenance/configuration, though inefficient protocol) isn’t really required - I don’t use it, and I think it’s one of the protocols that doesn’t show up by default when adding them in XP. (Microsoft is trying to phase it out).

My 98 box plays well with each of the 2k, XP and Linux boxes on my network with just TCP/IP installed, and no messing around with accounts and stuff.

Quick thought: When the logon box for the 98 machine comes up, are you hitting ‘Ok’ or ‘Cancel’? If you hit Cancel, then networking will be disabled for the 98 machine and nothing will work. Found that out the hard way years ago.

I agree, it isn’t required, but in practice, 90% of the problems described as somethng like “I can ping the other computers, but I can’t seem to access their shares” are solved by simply installing NETBEUI. It may be, of course, that something else is broken (and not at all related to NETBEUI) and is getting fixed or refreshed when Win98 does that 'building driver information database" and “insert the Win98 install CD” business.